Dealflow | June 20, 2019

Half of Harvard’s summer i-Lab teams are impact entrepreneurs

Roodgally Senatus
ImpactAlpha Editor

Roodgally Senatus

ImpactAlpha, June 20 – Harvard’s Innovation Labs incubator has graduated hundreds of student and alumni entrepreneurs. This summer, more than half of the incubator’s 80 teams are impact entrepreneurs.

Only 18 of the teams joined i-Lab’s “social impact” track. Most of the other ventures elected to join other industry-specific tracks, feeling they were a better fit to the type of support they need. That includes ClearView, an assistive tech startup for visually-impaired students; Loro, which is making a robotic companion or people with mobility challenges; and Abraze Manufacturing, which is developing a way to make steel without CO2 emissions.

“We have seen a steady increase in teams with social missions applying for the summer venture incubation program,” i-Lab’s Jodi Goldstein told ImpactAlpha. All of the ventures have the choice of attending programming and working with advisors from other tracks, Goldstein said.

Social impact participants in this year’s 12-week-long summer program include Ace, a civic engagement app; Hera, a mobile health app designed for refugee women in Turkey; and Tendrel, a support network for social entrepreneurs.

Startups that have participated in Harvard’s i-Lab since 2012 have gone on to raise more than $1.5 billion in funding, according to the lab.